Your running thought for the day

Is there another sport that has as many motivational quotes and uplifting sayings as running?

Not that we any of us need such quotations, of course …:)  Still, there are so many great quotes out there, that I think we can happily check some of them out.

I’m kicking off with one that sums me up perfectly.


Running has changed me and my life and my priorities.  Totally and utterly. On any given day, running is what shapes my day and the way I apportion my time.  No two ways about it.  What time I get up, go to bed, what and when I eat – all are weighed against my need to run.

And I love it.

Wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thanks to for the image.

To stretch? Or not to stretch?


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That is the question.

And, dear readers, it’s one which I am asking you all to help me answer.

As a still-finding-my-way-newbie runner, there are many basic things about which I’m unsure.

Like, actually, seriously, how important is stretching before and/or after a run?  Do you all stretch before even what you know is going to be a short run?

Since the man with whom we started running and training 18 months ago is a tad indifferent about stretching, it’s not a habit I have taken on board. When I feel the need to stretch, I do so, but it’s not a religious pre-run ritual.

Between you, me and the gatepost, when I see people furiously stretching away before races, I get rather intimidated.  Oh heck, they clearly know so much more than me/are going to be way way fitter – that kind of thing.

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Another reason for skipping the stretches is the desire to run and not “waste” precious run time, especially if time is limited. (Cue for you to tell me that stretching is not a waste of time…) Now, more than ever, in our brutal Delhi summer, any time spent stretching means less running time before the sun gets too fierce (which it did this morning, a propos of nothing).

I almost never remember to stretch after a run. I’m either dashing to the car to escape the sun (& give my dogs water) or dashing to the loo, or some such, and stretching gets forgotten.

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However, having said that, after the brilliant SCMM this January, the women finishers were ushered into the most amazing holding area where we were gently ordered to stretch by utterly charming and uber fit young things, and you know what? Ne’er an ache or a pain the next day…so there probably is something to be said for stretching after a long run.

I went online to find these photos (photo credits are down below, at the end of the post) and of course there are pages and pages and yet more pages of recommended stretches.  There are lists galore of the 6 most important stretches/10 best yoga positions/whatever…and so now I’m all confuddled and bemused.

OK, OK –  I think I might just have answered my own question through writing this post.  Yes, I probably should be stretching more.




What I would love to hear from you, would be your suggestions as to which are the most effective stretches, pre- and post-run.

Which ones?

How many repetitions?

And – is there a recommended order for doing stretches?  A sort of logical progression from top to bottom of one’s body, for example?  Or does it not actually matter in which order one stretches?


Photo Credit: lululemon athletica // introducing… ask a runner!

Inspirational. A 92 year old runs her 16th marathon

And here am I, the wrong side of 60 (just) and occasionally feeling young and more often feeling old, and wondering whether “at my age” I should be pounding the pavements.

Read about the inspirational Harriette Thompson, who just happens to be a cancer survivor and a concert pianist.  And a grandmother.  And a recent widow.  And who started running marathons when she was 72.


Now if this lady isn’t an inspiration to every one of us to get off the couch and out of the door, I don’t know what is.

Meet my heroine.


And if any of you ever hears me try and squeeze admiration/sympathy/understanding out of you by playing the age card – kindly remind me of Harriette, and send me on my way.

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What a rockstar.

How many gadgets is too many for a runner?


As I tumble out of bed at first light to go running, these oh-so-hot Delhi summer days, once I’m dressed & caffeinated, I have a checklist that I quickly run through (no pun intended).

I thought I’d run this list past you (no pun intended), and ask for your thoughts.

Are we runners all getting a tad over-gadgeted?  Or is it just me?  Am I carrying too much stuff?

Here’s my list of extras, over & above the car key & the house key.

Water bottle ✔
Cap against the sun ✔
Mobile ✔
headphones ✔
Garmin GPS ✔
Fitbit ✔

Too much?  Or is this pretty much standard kit for you, too?

Hey, I could be worse, like this bloke.

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Water, cap, phone I think are essential, and even though friends have suggested that I leave the phone behind, I take it along because:

(a) it’s a safety thing

(b)  I can take photos of the amazing things I might encounter while running.

(c) it has my music on (hence the headphones) AND a nifty running app that maps my route and calculates my distance (mapmyrun) and tells me how many miles are left to run on my lovely new shoes.

So if I have such a nifty mobile running app, I hear you say, why the need for a Fitbit and a GPS?

Well, the former doesn’t weigh a thing –  that’s my excuse.

And the GPS is a backup against the phone app not working/phone battery running low.  Which has happened on several occasions, usually on super long runs.  The theory is, that for longer distances, I use the Garmin not the phone app, to preserve the battery for all that uplifting music, so I have to be totally comfortable with both.


However, having said that…

1) I do worry that having so much clobber might attract undesirable attention.

Having been groped twice whilst out running alone, I know I should also carry my pepper spray, but I’m still a bit lazy about it.

2) It’s surely not good for running posture is it, to have stuff in both hands?

3) The day I fall (again) everything will go for a toss and I’m not sure my iPhone will survive a second running accident.


So, what’s your verdict?

Too much stuff?

Too many gadgets?

Do share your thoughts, but just remember, if we are de-gadget-ed, how will we all be able to upload our track logs and timings and photos?


And yes, I did exactly this today.  I was at 4.98 km (not miles) so I ran an extra 200 metres in the car park…

It’s National Running Day

Well, in the good ol’ US of A, that is.

Here in India, it’s just another Wednesday.

I discovered it was National Running Day from my handy mapmyrun app on my phone, but only after I had come home from my morning run, so it was all a tad too late.

But what a run it was.

It rained!

As in a pukka heavy downpour for about 10 minutes.

After the heat, oh the joy of having to take shelter from the rain…but then the dogs and I continued in the drizzle, too happy to care about getting soaked.

Any of you reading this in England (and thank you very much for so doing)  –  so, yes, you good folks probably cannot even begin to comprehend the joys of rain.

I know you were all cyber-grumbling yesterday about the winter weather returning to Blighty, so you’ll just have to take it on trust.

The arrival of rain in Delhi is cause for joy.  After the 43C of a couple of days ago, to run in 27C…fabuloso.

Fellow dilliwalas –  and especially my fellow #100daysofrunning friends – your thoughts on running in the rain?  Any advice?  Precautions?

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Oh, and by the way, I found these quotes online, in Pinterest.


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This won’t be a very long post, since I am lacing up my running shoes and about to head out to run.

In Delhi’s current 39C summer heat.

And why would I do that, you ask?

Actually you won’t ask, because most of you are runners.

So you get it.

There is a brilliant 100 day running challenge happening online at the moment, and today is Day 33, and I haven’t missed a day thus far and…yes, correct, completely obsessed.

It’s a totally friendly event, with a commitment to run a minimum of 2km per day to stay in the race.

Most of us seem to be Delhi and NCR based, but there is one awe-inspiring man in Ahmedabad who runs the equivalent of a marathon every day.  Yup.  You read that correctly.  42km every day.  I’m speechless.

Here you go, here’s the link.

I don’t know any of the other runners –  though there are a couple of people I have met at races –  but an amazing sense of community has already built up, as we all post and update our stats every day.

For me, this is the longest continuous stretch of time I have run – does that make any sense?  Basically, I have never thus far run for 32 consecutive days.  Soon to be 33.

This challenge is amazingly motivating, and makes me (somewhat) ignore the heat.

Anyway, that’s enough dilly-dallying.

Off into the heat I go.

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I found the quotes online, in Pinterest.

By way of introduction


Having become a total and utter running bore, apparently, in the last 18 months, the time has come to put my money where my mouth is (or should it be where my feet are?)

Whatever, this blog is the result.

A blog that I hope will be a fun area dedicated to running and all things connected to this late-in-life passion.

This also means that all my dear (non-running) readers of my main blog, Delhi Diary, will not feel their eyes glazing over at endless posts about the joys of pounding the streets or getting up at dawn to compete.

More than anything else, I’m hoping for lots of feedback and input from all you brilliant runners out there.  Seriously, I would love to hear from you all as much as possible, as we see how this blog evolves over the coming runs –  sorry, sorry – over the coming months.

Really and truly, I welcome your thoughts and ideas and advice on all the things that connect us – be it product reviews or recommended running routes, advice or fitness, nutrition or…hey, you all know what I mean.


Let’s do this.

Let’s launch

(Because running really does rock)


“Running! If there’s any activity happier, more exhilarating, more nourishing to the imagination, I can’t think of what it might be.”

Joyce Carol Oates

Want a good running shop in London?

I live in India, where I haven’t yet been able to track down the gels that I am told are vital for running a marathon.

So on a recent trip to London I was thrilled to find a specialised running shop in East Sheen, just a few minutes drive away from Barnes, where I was based.

Aptly called ‘Up & running”, the shop has a quiet, unpushy air of professionalism about it.

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When I explained that not only was I new to running, but was also thinking about transiting from half to full marathon, the young woman in the shop could not have been more helpful.  A marathoner herself, she answered all my questions in great detail, explained about gels, gave me several (free) to take home and try, and was totally charming.  No hard sell, nothing but relaxed friendly service.

Just wished I’d needed more stuff…would happily have spent hours in Up & Running.

I paid my bill (a very snazzy belt to hold said gels) and did not tell them that I blog and write reviews.

Recommended, from one very pleasant interaction.

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How good are Adidas Energy Boost running shoes?

First things first.

I am not a running/fitness/shoe expert.

I am simply a freshly minted runner, who has gone from 0 – training for her first marathon in 18 months.  In other words, what I have to say about my new running shoes is 100% personal, and not “professional”.

After (literally) running through my old Revenergy Boost which saw me through my first-ever half marathon, as well as my second, third, fourth and fifth HMs, the time had come to replace them.  It almost felt disloyal to replace them, since they had shepherded me through so many late-in-life thrilling milestones, but after 7 months they were pretty worn out.

So, yes, I loved my old shoes – everything except the dull grey colour, if I am being honest – and decided to stick with what I knew, and bought another pair.



Oh joy! The new version comes in a fab colour. Despite my age, there is nothing wrong with loving jazzy pink and purple shoes, now, is there?


Aren’t they gorgeous?

Love the noticeably bouncy tread.  You really do feel as though you are bouncing along with extra energy, when you run in these shoes-see how worn down my faithful old ones were in comparison.


The only thing I am less enthusiastic about in this new version of the Energy Boost is the tongue, which doesn’t open as wide as the older version did.  So I have taken to using a shoe tree to help me put them on, rather than forcing my foot in and damaging the back.


Other than that, love ’em.

I have a tendency to pronate, and was told that these shoes will definitely help.


Buying these beauties coincided with my signing up for a #100daysofrunning challenge, so I now have a clever phone app predicting the life of my new shoes.

Alas! After exactly one month, to the day, I have (it would appear) already used up over a third of their predicted lifespan.

Oh woe is me.


I bought these shoes, paid for them myself, and did not tell the shop that I review and blog.



Would I buy them again?

Yes, going to do exactly that.

Pepper spray? Chilli powder? Personal alarm? Needle? Knife? Taser? Kick? Boxing? Knee in the groin?

I am feeling very overwhelmed and yes, humbled, by the (mostly supportive) outpouring of comments and advice, after my blog post about being groped, when I was out running on Wednesday.

Thank you, thank you to all of you who took the time to write and, especially thank you to the people whom I do not know personally, yet who commented and left advice.  It means a lot.

Am less impressed by one moron on Twitter who went on and on about “white saviours” (honestly no idea what he was talking about) and tried to link my being touched up by some greasy-haired lowlife specimen, to the murder of an Indian woman in Sydney earlier this week.  Some sort of racial quid pro quo?

Anyway, moving on to the eminently sensible comments instead.

Firstly, though, it was disturbing to read that so many of you women have also been groped.

A lovely lady called Beatrix, whom I don’t know other than in cyberspace, had this to say :

 I’ve had my butt, crotch, & breasts grabbed, my hair pulled, by Indian men ONLY IN DELHI.
It has happened while walking in Khan Mkt., at a swank hair salon in Saket, strolling through the Paharganj, shopping at Dilli Haat, wandering Connaught Place, even at the supposedly hip’n’swish Hauz Khas.
I can almost handle the lewd comments by Delhi men BUT WHY CAN’T THEY KEEP THEIR HANDS TO THEMSELVES?!?!!!
Anyway, I bought some “SABRE Maximum Strength Blue Dye Pepper Spray” the last time I was in the US.
It not only blasts your attacker with pepper spray but marks them with a blue dye that lasts for 24 hrs.

One of of my lovely running girls, Shalini, shared this :

 I have slapped, yelled, abused, pushed, thrown stones at so many of them but all they do is fold hands and say ‘sorry’. Sorry??? Bloody morons! And the public- men, women everyone would be just watching quietly.

Another lovely friend called Brinda shared this anecdote:

I have an American friend who, many years ago, was in a line to buy cinema tickets at the Regal Cinema. Someone behind her grabbed her crotch, and when she turned around there he was, a small weedy man! So, being tall and strong, she gave him a couple of slaps and then picked him up and shook him, rather like a dog would shake a rat, and shouted to the crowd…..look at this man, this is what he does! All the fellow could say was “Please, please Madam, I am very sorry, I am married”!! They are diseased, these men, indulged from the womb to the tomb in all the wrong ways by their mothers…..The crowd, mostly men, needless to say, did NOTHING….

From a very dear friends Simran, mourning the recent death of her beloved Nani (maternal grandmother) :

Btw my Nani had her bottom groped at the age of 70. The mind boggles.

Anu shares her experience:

The sad, sad truth is that in many places in Delhi, self-help is the best help. Reminds me of the time when travelling by a bus as a teenager and was repeatedly ‘accidentally’ groped by a man on a bus. The good citizens around me did nothing.. till such time as I whipped around, kicked the creep hard and followed it up with a verbal lashing. The citizenry was then sufficiently roused to inquire what was the matter, despite the fact that the harassment was occurring in full public view. And yes, I carry pepper spray everywhere now.


What a depressing catalogue, ladies.


The title of my blog post, as I am sure you have guessed, is a (partial) list of the suggestions you all made, as to what I should do to protect myself from the creeps out there.  There is a difference between protecting yourself while out, say, for a walk or driving, and running where – ideally – one wants to be as unencumbered as possible.  Having just started running without my water bottle, in order to lighten up, it now seems as though I am going to have to start carrying something extra with me, as protection.

But what?

Some of your suggestions are impractical –  needle and knife, for example.

I am not going to run with a knife, which I don’t know how to use and which would only get me into worse trouble, I suspect.  And where would I put a needle while running?

So thanks, but no thanks.


A handful of chilli powder?

Useful, but not practical in a running context.  By the time I’d’ve got it out of the ziplock bag, the greasy-haired creep would have been off.


A shrieker personal alarm is a good idea.  I used to have one which would supposedly make the person vomit, such was the pitch of the shriek.


But I think a pepper spray is the best solution, and if I can track down the one that Beatrix recommends, then that’s definitely the way to go.  And as one commentator on my blog, Sanjeev, said – if enough women use pepper sprays when they are molested, word will soon get out that women are fighting back.


A very nice man “KJ”, whom I do not know, wrote a long and very detailed comment on my blog, and I would urge every woman reading this, please, to check his remarks.  You’ll find them at the end of the original post about being groped.

As the soon-to-be-father of a daughter, I found KJ’s detailed remarks both helpful and yes, moving.

KJ is a martial arts teacher, so I take his words very seriously, and am sharing with you here a gem from his detailed and helpful comment:

GRABBING the groin, and TWISTING (gross sounding, I know, but if you make the MENTAL commitment to defend yourself, you can easily wash your hands later … You will have had him ‘by the balls’, and caused him to crumple on the pavement).

I had a sweet supportive message from a young man who ran the recent half marathon (the one on the Formula 1 track in the rain…) and heard about the incident.

So, yes, am feeling the care and concern.

I thank you all.

I welcome your further thoughts and feedback about ways to stay safe.

Any further ideas?  Advice?

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